Recession-Proof Jobs And Their College Degrees

recession-proof economy

On the heels of Covid-19, warnings of recession, inflation soaring, mortgage crisis, the bearish stock market, and crypto crumbling, job security is on everyone’s mind. Although no job or college degree is completely recession-proof, there are some that are more stable than others.

If you’re in college or considering a new career, a good choice is one that is employable and makes good money in hard economic times. The ability to have job security during economic downturns can give you and your family peace of mind as well as keep you financially afloat.

While there is never a guarantee, the below 5 Recession-Proof jobs rarely see layoffs or downsizing in tough times.  

1. Healthcare Professionals

Medical professionals are essential. Those in the industry such as nurses, physician assistants, medical technicians, and hospital administrators typically have great job security in a recession.

Many healthcare jobs don’t require a bachelor’s degree. Check out your local community college to see what health occupations they offer. With an associate degree, you can become a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), Respiratory Care, and Radiologic Technologist (RT).

If you don’t want to earn an associate degree, that’s okay. You can break into the medical field with a Certification. You can become a Paramedic, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), or Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

2. Federal Employees

Being the largest employer in the US, the federal government has great job security. Even when there’s a bad economy, the government is always going to pay itself. Public employees enjoy great job benefits including generous pension plans, excellent health insurance, and significant paid time off. If you are looking for a recession-proof job the federal government might be a good option.

There are countless federal jobs. USAJOBS has a list of federal occupations by college major. The list includes the four-digit series number which you can use when you begin your job search. When you find a job announcement that interests you, pay close attention to all sections of the announcement for specific details.

Two very strong jobs with the federal government are IRS Agent (0512) and Actuarial Science (1510). An IRS agent requires a bachelor’s in accounting. Degrees must be from an accredited university. Jobs locations for IRS Agent’s are spread out all over the country.

Actuarial Science is an excellent job. It made The Top 5 In-Demand College Degrees in 2023. To qualify for an Actuary position you must meet the basic requirements. Bachelor’s degree that included courses in actuarial science, mathematics, relevant statistics, business, finance, economics, insurance, or computer science totaling at least 24 semester hours. This coursework must have included a minimum of 12 semester hours of mathematics that included differential and integral calculus and one or more courses in mathematics for which these calculus courses were prerequisites. Degrees must be from an accredited university.

3. Educators

Students don’t stop attending school because of recessions. Whether it’s grade school, high school or college students need education. When economic instability hits, education doesn’t disappear. If anything, education is needed more to prepare for changing times.

Teachers, professors, and school administrators all tend to have a safe recession-proof job during downturns. When Covid swept across the country many schools and universities closed but teachers, professors, and school administrators still collected their paychecks.

To be a teacher for grades 1-12 you need a bachelor’s degree and a state-approved teaching certificate. However, you can still work at a school without a 4-year degree. You can become a Teaching Assistant, School Secretary, Food Preparation Worker, Groundskeeper, Janitor, Bus Driver, or Tutor.

To be a professor at a community college, typically a minimum of a master’s degree is required, but a bachelor’s may be accepted with work experience. To teach at the university level a master’s degree is required but a doctorate is preferred.

Information technology jobs are recession-proof.

4. IT Workers

Information technology workers are needed in a plethora of sectors when hard times hit. The internet does not shut down. Databases, networks, cybersecurity, communications, and websites all still need to operate. Anything in IT is pretty much a recession-proof job.

The IT field encompasses many different jobs and career paths. That includes computer systems analysts, AI, software developers, network administrators, data analysts, database engineers, website designers, project managers, data scientists, and many other specialists. With so many different jobs the IT sector rarely sees a downturn.

Computer Science and Computer Engineering are two excellent majors. They cover an array of fields, giving graduates considerable job opportunities. The employment growth is fast and in demand as they are some of the most sought after and highest paid which makes them incredibly recession-proof.

5. Mental Health & Substance Abuse Professionals

During times of economic uncertainty, mental health professionals are in demand. When people are worried that they will lose their jobs and experience tough financial times stress-related ailments skyrocket. Without support and guidance from a mental healthcare professional, the stress could turn into a disorder such as depression, panic disorder, bipolar disorder, OCD, substance abuse, and marital distress.

Often, states, local and federal governments broaden access to mental health programs during recessions. Therefore, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, therapists, and substance abuse workers stay in demand. Getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology or social work can open the door to many mental healthcare fields.

There Are No Guarantees

No job comes with a guarantee, but some industries are more stable than others. Most recession-proof jobs require a college degree, choose yours wisely. Set yourself up to weather tough economic times by improving your job situation.